Day Two Brings Eliminations and Controversy

Submitted by: Ron Smith - May 19th, 2016


Alika McGuire

Alika McGuire

Closely contested games were the theme of the second day of the NAIA Baseball Opening Round Tournament Santa Barbara Bracket, hosted by Westmont. The day started with College of Idaho rallying from a three-run deficit to win 11-8 and oust second-seeded Madonna from the competition.

The Master’s claimed a 1-0 win over top-seeded Westmont in a game delayed by half an hour due to controversy over an umpire’s call. In the final game, a solo home run in the bottom of the eighth proved to be the difference in William Carey’s 7-6 win over College of Idaho in the second elimination game of the day.

Game Four Recap
The Yotes of the College of Idaho jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the top of the first on an RBI-single by Dalton Ridgway and a two-run error that allowed Ridgway and Bobby Wright to score.

After Madonna’s Ryan Lambrecht took one run back with an RBI-single to right field, the Yotes made it a 4-1 game in the top of the second off a sacrifice fly by Mitch Skaggs to center field.

The tide turned in the bottom of the third when the Crusaders put up six runs to go ahead 7-4. An RBI-single to left-center by Shane Dokey drove in the first run before Levi Larmour doubled to right center to bring home Dokey. Larmour would score on a double to right-center by John Lauro to tie the game.

The fourth run of the inning was scored by Ryan Lambrecht when Taylor Grzelakowski reached on an error. Lauro scored on a single up the middle by Matt Deneau that also brought home Grzelakowski.

However, the Yotes responded in the top of the fifth, reclaiming the lead with five runs of their own. Jake Bowman and Skaggs both scored on a single to shallow left-center. Hunter Hanson and Cole Mansanarez came home on a triple by Ridgway. Ridgway made it home from third when Jake Hennessey was caught in a run down between first and second.

The Yotes would score again in the top of the fifth and in the top of the eighth to cement the victory.

Zach Draper took the win for the College of Idaho. He pitched seven and two-third innings giving up eight runs, half of which were earned, on 14 hits. Alex Yonker was charged with the loss after allowing six runs (five earned) on three hits in two innings of work.

Game Five Recap
A pitcher’s duel characterized the second game of the day with the only run. The blast came off of a line drive home run by Brandon Van Horn that snuck over the fence near the left field foul pole.

The Warriors thought they had tied the game in the top of the eighth, but a contested call went against Westmont and disallowed a run. Michael Frigon was on first base with two away when Jarrett Costa bounced a line drive off the right-center field fence.

Frigon rounded third and raced for home as the relay came to catcher Jonah Jarrard from second baseman Michael Sexton. Jarrard was 10 feet up the third base line when Frigon lept into the air to avoid a tag. As he landed, Frigon touched home plate with his hand.

However, home plate umpire Brian Marine called Frigon out on the play, much to the chagrin of everyone in the Warrior dugout and home stands. Head coach Robert Ruiz immediately challenged the call and a series of discussions and meetings occurred that delayed the game for 30 minutes.

After several conversations between Ruiz and both the home plate and third base umpires, the four umpires met privately down the left field line while consulting a paper rule book and accessing the rules online with the aid of a laptop computer. During this time, the group of four was joined by two additional umpires not working the game – including the tournament umpire in chief – and by the NAIA Site Supervisor.

When it was determined that the wireless signal in left field was inadequate to use the laptop, the entire committee marched to the press box where they could connect to the internet via a wired Ethernet connection.

At issue seemed to be the question of whether or not it was within the rules for Frigon to leap over the catcher. This issue was never settled one way or another. However, it was determined to be a moot point when Marine declared that regardless of the leap’s legality, Frigon had been tagged out.

The committee of officials then returned to the field to inform Ruiz of their decision and restart the game.

While all of this was going on, the Westmont Sports Network broadcast team was showing slow motion replay on air that clearly showed that the attempted tag of Frigon missed by more than six inches. However, since video review is not permitted in collegiate baseball, this information could not be made available to the umpires for their consideration.

The result was that the call of out at the plate was upheld and the inning was declared over.

Despite an outstanding outing, Westmont starter David Gaydos was charged with the loss. Gaydos allowed just three hits, including the home run, in six inning of work.

The Master’s Brad Lohse went the distance for the Mustangs to pick-up the win. Lohse allowed five hits and struck out 10.

Game Six Recap
William Carey got off to a strong start in the final game of the day with two runs in the first and another in the second – all three runs were scored without the benefit of a hit.

William Carey added to its lead in the top of the fifth with a two-run home run by James Land that went over the center field fence. In the top of the sixth, Taylor Richards both reached and scored as the result of errors, making it a 6-2 Crusader lead going into the seventh.

The biggest blow of the game came in the bottom of the eighth on a 1-2 count when Wright delivered a grand slam to left field to tie the game at six.

However, the in the top of the ninth, Adrian Brown homered to left to provide the winning run.

Kyle Deckwa was awarded the win after pitching one and two-third innings in relief.

Day Three Preview
Two games are on the docket for tomorrow. At 11:00 a.m., Westmont will meet up with William Carey for the second time in the tournament. The Warriors prevailed 14-1 again the Crusaders in Game Three on Tuesday.

The at 2:30 p.m. The Master’s will meet up with the winner of the eleven o’clock game in the first of two possible championship games. If The Master’s prevails, they will win the Santa Barbara Bracket crown and advanced to the NAIA World Series. If The Master’s falters, the Mustangs and their opponent will play again on Friday at noon in a winner-take-all showdown.

[game four box] [game five box] [game six box]